As I was reading a real estate blog, somehow I ended up at Waypoint Homes web site. If you have been involved in real estate or read real estate news you probably have heard of their name mentioned.
The Chicago Tribune recently wrote:
The strategy of the 4-year-old company, formed by Brien, a former National Football League place-kicker who played for the Bears in 2005, and Colin Wiel, a former Boeing engineer, is to purchases single-family foreclosures in areas with a stable employment base and rent them, creating a stabilized, profitable portfolio for investors. Waypoint owns more than 1,800 rentals in California. It entered the Phoenix market in May.
After some quick sleuthing, they currently have 162 Active homes for rent in Southern California. Let me say that again 162 homes for rent!!!
Could you imagine the team it takes to deal with 162 vacant houses at one? Break-ins, tenant phone calls, weed abatements, etc.
The active for rent listings ranged from: a high of $2,499 for a house in Corona on a golf course they paid $240,500 for; to a low of $1,249 for a house in Banning that they paid $50,100 for at the trustee sale. But everything seems to be priced $200-300 above “top dollar” for the market rents.
The typical for rent MLS description reads:
Waypoint Homes offers tenants a standard 12 month lease or our Lease Plus Rewards Program. The LPR program is a 24 month lease that allows residents in good standing to accrue up to $5,000 to apply toward the purchase of ANY home on the market at the end of their lease term or take 25% of that money in cash at move out!! Call for more details! Waypoint Homes has an A rating with the BBB.
Lease Plus Rewards – an Innovative Idea
I have heard for a while that Waypoint planned to use lease options to “juice” their rents. The details of this program seem to be called Lease Plus Rewards. It basically gives their occupant an incentive to stay longer and it also gives them a bigger security deposit in the event something bad happens. They offer to refund 25% of the $5,000 but obviously if the house has any damage, or the landlord is short any rent they are going to subtract that from the refund.
Not all seems to be smooth sailing: they advertise an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, but a search shows they have slipped to a B with 8 complaints in the last 6 months.